Thursday, February 17, 2011

Musical Chairs (first in a continuing series):

Shock! Vasily Petrenko is taking a second orchestra. He's moving 'up' in the world to the Oslo Philharmonic. It would typical display of loyalty from the race known as conductors if he would announce shortly that he's leaving the orchestra that made him a star, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. But that's neither here nor there for now. The Oslo Philharmonic, the old band of Mariss Jansons, is giving up their current director, Jukka Pekka Saraste, so that he can take over the West German Radio Symphony of Cologne, which was until recently the band of Semyon Bychkov. Bychkov has been hotly rumored as a potential replacement for both James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera or Antonio Pappano at the Royal Opera House in London. Pappano is also rumored to be in the running to replace James Levine at the Met Opera in New York, but is also rumored to be in consideration to be new director of the La Scala Opera in Milan. But the directorship of La Scala may also be assumed by Riccardo Chailly, whose problems with management at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra seem to be continuing. Chailly is, apparently, also in talks to become the next music director of the Boston Symphony if (when) James Levine leaves in the next year. The directorship of La Scala could also be taken by Daniele Gatti, who is currently directing the French National Orchestra, and is also the interim music director of the Zurich Opera before Fabio Luisi is due to take over as Music Director in 2013 (more on Luisi in a moment). Gatti, though, is also rumored to be a preferred choice of the Berlin Philharmonic to be their next music director in 2018 when Sir Simon Rattle's contract expires. So he may wait out his opportunity at La Scala for a chance at the Berlin Philharmonic. And besides, continuity at the Zurich Opera only became an issue because Franz-Welser Most left the Zurich Opera to direct the Vienna State Opera. But he was ultimately the second choice of the Vienna State Opera, who wanted Christian Thielemann. But Thielemann was ensconced at the Munich Philharmonic and is the de facto music director of the Bayreuth Festival. When things at the Munich Philharmonic soured, the offer in Vienna was no longer on the table, so he took the directorship of the Dresden State Orchestra, recently vacated by Fabio Luisi (remember him?). Luisi is now slated to be the director of the Zurich Opera in 2013. But he has also been appointed recently as the principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera. It is at least as possible that the Met will offer him the post of music director as Semyon Bychkov, Antonio Pappano or Yannick Nezet-Segiun. Yannick Nezet-Seguin was recently appointed director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, replacing Christoph Eschenbach (after an interregnum with Charles Dutoit, who could merit a paragraph of his own). Christoph Eschenbach is now with the National Symphony in Washington DC. He also recently gave up his position as director of the Orchestra of Paris. His replacement is Paavo Jarvi, who is now concurrently holding the music directorships of the Orchestra of Paris, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the German Chamber Philharmonic of Bremen, and the Cincinnati Symphony....y'know, it's probably best we just stop at Paavo Jarvi.

In other news, I'm beginning to see the logic in the Catholic divorce prohibition.

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